Fandoms are great. They bring together people under a common interest, and most of the time the community is one of positivity and celebration of their favorite TV show, movie and/or comics and characters. However, as these fandoms become more wide-reaching and inclusive, toxicity has been edging in and causing disruption not just to the fans but the creators too.
The Marvel fandom has not escaped this; increasing factions within the community have helped to brew negativity toward Brie Larson and Captain Marvel, and the James Gunn/Guardians of the Galaxy situation has also seen people take different sides of the issue.
So with all this toxicity flying around over social media, the arrival of Marvel Fans United has been a welcome antidote. A global movement to bring together the Marvel community, it was started by French actors and internet personalities Kirk Devecyk and Julien Keermelckbrugge, whose first love of Marvel came from watching the X-Men and Spider-Man animated series as children.
They grew up watching their favorite heroes on the small screen, then in comics, then on the big screen. Then, in 2017, after it seemed like they would be waiting for infinity to actually see the first Infinity War trailer, they decided to make a video.
“Kirk was on Twitter when he realized that people were complaining about waiting for the Infinity War trailer,” Keermelckbrugge tells SYFY FANGRRLS. “We decided to have fun and make a video asking Marvel to release the trailer. We didn’t think nobody [sic] would see it, it was really to make our friends and ourselves laugh.”
The pair had accomplished just a little more than that ... they woke up to find the video had over 100,000 views. People just couldn’t get enough of their energetic and hilarious demands to see the Infinity War trailer.
So what goes into making a video? The pair’s process is simple enough; instead of a script, they improvise random ideas and thoughts and shout them at the camera for 20 minutes before Devecyk edits them along with footage from the movies, Comic-Con panels, footage from pop culture, and subtitles into gloriously kinetic videos.
People in the Marvel fandom aren’t the only ones to take notice. The Disney marketing team (“shoutout to Asad Ayaz, Dustin Sandoval, Shawn Kalsi, and Greg Dunbar,” Deveyck says) invited Deveyck and Keermelckbrugge to the Los Angeles premiere of Avengers: Infinity War in 2018. More recently, their video for Spider-Man: Far From Home has been retweeted and liked by stars Tom Holland and Zendaya.
Marvel Fans United isn’t just about viral videos, though; they also want to combat the negativity that has been permeating in the Marvel fandoms by making sure they’re ambassadors for all, especially after seeing the toxic reaction to Captain Marvel.
“I was very shocked to realize that the community that is supposed to be the most open, that read stories about heroes fighting for justice and believe in stuff that doesn’t exist, like aliens, flying monsters, and infinity gauntlets, were the same people (some, not all) that didn’t feel excited about a movie because the leader was a woman,” Devecyk says.
“I’ve read comments like ‘She’s boring! She needs to smile more,’ Keermelckbrugge tells us. “I strongly believe that it goes beyond just comic book or movie problems; those people have an issue with a woman being the leader.
“In the world of comics, men have been associated with strength and power, while women are the ones that are literally wearing nothing but a leather thong and some boots or are the damsel in distress.
"So when a strong character like Captain Marvel shows up, covered from top to toe, it kind of bothers them,” he continues. “It needs to stop, but I believe in humans, I believe that this generation can change things.
“I want the people to remember that there are far more people in the community that is [sic] excited about diversity and representation," Deveyck adds. “We need to stop giving these trolls a voice; they may be louder, but they are a very small group. Falling trees always make more noises than a growing one.”
Ultimately, the pair hope Marvel Fans United will go higher, faster, further in bringing together the global community. “We want to be the ambassadors of the Marvel Fans,” Devecyk continues. “A bridge. We know that the actors and writers can’t answer all the messages and visit everybody, but we want to be their voices.”
“There are so many events, like comic-cons or movie premiere, where the same people, from the same area, can go each year and meet their heroes and idols,” Keermelckbrugge explains. “Not everybody can go to those events, not everybody can travel to America and meet their heroes. Not everyone has the money, but with Marvel Fans United we can all share our love and passion through one voice.
“I dare to believe that MFU can be a nonprofit organization to help kids around the world and fans to get their messages to their heroes.”
Whether these guys succeed or not, at least they're using their platform to get people excited about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They're keeping us entertained in between trailer drops, movie announcements, and releases.
Marvel Fans United is all about joy, pure and simple, and we admire the efforts the "We Want the Trailer Boys" are putting in to make the Marvel fandom great again.